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DID YOU READ

Insert Credit: “Gears of War 3”

Insert Credit: “Gears of War 3” (photo)

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Gears of War 3” reminds me of nothing so much as a classic music video. It takes the emotional energy of classic “Gears of War” trailers–Mad World, Ashes to Ashes and War Pigs–and turns it into a big playable experience. The rage rock of the AC/DC song, the mournful recontextualization of the Tears for Fears track shoot through the actual game that’s out this week, giving everything a wounded emo vibe.

Just as the soldiers in the Delta Squad team have come to grips with a world where tomorrow brings just more of the same grueling conflict, lead character Marcus Fenix finds himself having to face up to the fact that his supposedly dead father may still be alive. More than that, the discovery that Dr. Adam Fenix has hit upon may make the vengeful Locust species and their mutated Lambent cousins disappear off the face of planet Sera forever. The peace-through-genocide premise of “Gears of War 3” resonates because its predecessors –no matter what plot contrivances they put you through–always made you feel surrounded by concentric circles of hostility. It felt like everything in the game was trying to kill you, and hiding behind a slab of concrete and shooting at just the right moments was the only way you’d live to see the next five minutes.

All the desperate cover-based combat of the five-year “Gears” cycle has led to this moment and the Epic Games dev studio has made sure that this title feels sharper to play than the two that have come before it. There’s a wider panoply of guns and enemies in the Campaign Mode, which itself feels sharply paced during its 12-14 hours of playtime.

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The multiplayer options for “Gears 3” represent the most robust online offering in franchise history so far. There’s the previously discussed changes to Horde Mode that make it a more layered experience than before. The new game also see a variant called Beast Mode which lets players control the Locust and Lambent bad guys as they hunt and kill their human prey with gory, super-powerful moves specific to them.

Overall, “Gears of War 3” feels like a series that’s closing out one phase of its evolution in its best possible iteration. The game’s ending provides real closure and the gameplay shows off the work of a team that’s iterated on the experience that they want to deliver until it’s been burnished to a high sheen. It’s a must-buy for action-loving Xbox 360 owners.

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The Best Of The Last

Portlandia Goes Out With A Bang

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The end is near. In mere days Portlandia wraps up its final season, and oh what a season it’s been. Lucky for you, you can watch the entire season right now right here and on the IFC app, including this free episode courtesy of Subaru.

But now, let’s take a moment to look back at some of the new classics Fred and Carrie have so thoughtfully bestowed upon us. (We’ll be looking back through tear-blurred eyes, but you do you.)

Couples Dinner

It’s not that being single sucks, it’s that you suck if you’re single.

Cancel it!

A sketch for anyone who has cancelled more appointments than they’ve kept. Which is everyone.

Forgotten America

This one’s a “Serial” killer…everything both right and wrong about true crime podcasts.

Wedding Planners

The only bad wedding is a boring wedding.

Disaster Hut

It’s only the end of the world if your doomsday kit doesn’t include rosé.

Catch up on Portlandia’s final episodes on demand and at IFC.com

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Your Portlandia Personality Test

The New Portlandia Webseries Is Going Your Way

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Carrie and Fred understand that although we have so much in common, we’re each so beautifully unique and different. To help us navigate those differences, Portlandia has found an easy and honest way to embrace our special selves in the form of a progressive new traffic system: a specific lane for every kind of driver. It’s all in honor of the show’s 8th and final season, and it’s all presented by Subaru.

Ready to find out who you really are? Match your personality to a lane and hop on the expressway to self-understanding.

Lane 10: Trucks Piled With Junk

Your junk is falling out of your trunk. Shake a tail light, people — this lane is for you.

Lane 33: Twins

You’re like a Gemini, but waaaay more pedestrian. Maybe you and a friend just wear the same outfits a lot. Who cares, it’s just twinning enough to make you feel special.

Lane 27: Broken Windows

Bad luck follows you around and everyone knows it. Your proverbial seat is always damp from proverbial rain. Is this the universe telling you to swallow your pride? Yes.

Lane 69: Filthy Cars

You’re all about convenience. Getting your car washed while you drive is a no-brainer.

Lane 43: Newly Divorced Singles

It’s been a while since you’ve driven alone, and you don’t know the rules of the road anymore. What’s too fast? What’s too slow? Are you sending the right signals? Don’t worry, the breakdown lane is nearby if you need it.

Still can’t find a lane to match your personality? Check out all the videos here. And see the final season of Portlandia this spring on IFC.

Uncle-Buck

Last-Minute Holiday Gift Guide

Hits from the '80s are on repeat all Christmas Eve and Day on IFC.

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GIFs via Giphy, Photos via The Everett Collection

It’s the final countdown to Christmas and thanks to IFC’s movie marathon all Christmas Eve and Christmas Day, you can revel in classic ’80s films AND find inspiration for your last-minute gifts. Here are our recommendations, if you need a head start:

Musical Instrument

Great analog entertainment substitute when you refuse to give your kid the Nintendo Switch they’ve been drooling over.

Breakfast In Bed

Any significant other or child would appreciate these Uncle Buck-approved flapjacks. Just make sure you’re not stuck on clean up duty.

Cocktail Supplies

You’ll need them to get through the holidays.

Dance Lessons

So you can learn to shake-shake-shake (unless you know ghosts willing to lend a hand).

Comfy Clothes

With all the holiday meals, there may be some…embigenning.



Get even more great inspiration all Christmas Eve and Day on IFC, and remember…